Hezbollah accused of hiding missiles in charity-run Lebanese schools

Hezbollah accused of hiding missiles in charity-run Lebanese schools
Lebanon's Hezbollah have been accused of hiding missiles in Beirut schools.
2 min read
11 February, 2021
A street in Beirut’s Bourj al Barajneh [Getty]
Lebanese militia and political movement, Hezbollah, is hiding missiles in charity-run schools and premises in the outskirts of Beirut, an Israeli think tank has claimed.

Social charity "Shiite Waqf Committee", based in the Palestinian camp of Burj el-Barajneh, southern Beirut, was accused by the think tank of harbouring Hezbollah medium-range Fateh 110 missiles and launch sites, according to Lebanese outlet Al-Modon.

The Israeli Alma Research and Education Center pinpointed seven compounds that belonged to the foundation, including six schools and the charity's central branch. 

The New Arab cannot independently verify these claims, but similar Israeli allegations have been made in the past but dismissed by Lebanon experts.

Israel has used such allegations to ignore rules of engagement and international law before when targeting urban areas, such as during the 2006 Lebanon War when around 1,191 civilians were killed in waves of Israeli bombing.

Hezbollah has categorically denied storing weapons in civilian areas but has not commented on the recent claims.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes and drones continue to violate Lebanon's airspace on an almost daily basis.

With frictions running high between Israel and the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group, drone activity has been increasingly common along Lebanon's southern border.

Tal Beeri, director of Alma's research department, said the findings were "a continuation of a report that we published in July 2020, which exposed 28 Fateh 110 missile sites in greater Beirut", Israel Hayom reported.

Read also: Israeli drone 'shot down' over Lebanon

Beeri, who spent 20 years as an intelligence officer in the Israeli military, specialising in Lebanon and Syria affairs, said the charity emerged as the common denominator between the sites allegedly storing missiles.

Anti-aircraft missiles were fired at an Israeli drone flying over south Lebanon earlier this month but did not hit their targets.

Two Lebanese security sources told Reuters that Hezbollah fighters had fired at the drone.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in neighbouring Syria in recent years, targeting suspected Iranian military sites and arms transfers to Hezbollah.

In September 2019, Hezbollah vowed to down Israeli drones flying over Lebanon after two unmanned aerial vehicles, packed with explosives, targeted the movement's stronghold in south Beirut.

Hezbollah is the only armed group in Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war not to disarm, and remains a powerful player in Lebanese politics with seats in parliament.

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